Posted by: Heather | February 24, 2011

Athens. Day One.

had a bit of a lazy day today.

work up and had the free breakfast provided by the hotel. pretty great stuffs.

after i headed out to see the Parthenon and surrounding ruins.  gumby had a great time. I also found some frenchies who took my picture for me.  I had a great time wandering around. I was taking a picture when i heard my name called. turning around i saw Catie. Her tour group was leaving as i was going in. I wandered around some more then headed to the ‘old town’ i found a great little shop.

 

after a few hours of old town i decided to head back to the hotel. After i bought my ticket I turned around again and walked into caties tour group again. this time we have time to chat a bit before heading off ways.

 

Okay this next bit is just me being self righteous and hypocritical.

I hate tour groups. I was talking to Catie, (Catie i love you and you’re a great and amazing person) she had just come from a museaum and was heading to another. wonderful right?

NO. Her spring break tour, much like my people to people tour, is a mockery of travel. Yes, you can see wonderful sights and top rated museums. But seeing the main sights of a place is not enough. you have to interact with the locals, haggle over the price of the heart shaped sunglasses, try the local dishes, explore on your own, see the rough bits of a town with the good bits, do what the locals do, shop at their local markets, use their public transport. Being ushered around by a coach and driver, being lead around by a tour guide, all that puts you at such a distance from the local culture.
why bother traveling if your going to places that hand you pretty little english pamplets as you walk through the door? what are you gaining by staying at nice hotels that cater to american tourist? yes, the tour group will have been to athens, but will they have SEEN Athens?

on the same note, when i was back at the hotel, i heard one of the guest say, why don’t we go to turkey next? I want to get a pin from there.
Nothing about the amazing sights, only they want to go to collect a pin. its so infuriating! uggg. what are these people doing here if not to experence the culture and talk with the locals?

I talked with the lady who owns the hotel this afternoon. Did you know that she as a business owner she pays 40% of her income in taxes? thats incredible!

also that the civil unrest here is growing fast? I think another egypt is about to happen. off the few locals i’ve talked with two brought up the state of the government. Not happy comments. about how corrupt the government is and how their doing nothing for the people. the same people keep getting votes in. (reminded me a bit of the Kennedy ‘legacy’)

OK. my self righteous babbling is over. (keep in mind i too have taken a guided tour of Europe and its taken me four years to realize what i was missing out on)

 

this page is having an issue with adding pictures so try my facebook for the rest.

Love ya’s!!

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Responses

  1. I’m glad we haven’t seen the other side of your sign yet!

  2. Greek gods, Heather…Where ARE those Greek gods?!?

    Next time you head to the ballot box, I hope you remember how outraged you were at 40% of that business woman’s income going to the government. Glad to hear you’re getting off the beaten track and experiencing the culture as well as the sights, though.

    Love ya.

    P.S. What IS on the other side of that sign?

    • nope no gods yet…
      the other side of the sing says that if im found lost to please call daddy…and it has his number to call…hehe. itn’t that great?

  3. Good Morning
    Isn’t amazing how many people in thr USA take most things for granite.
    How wonderful that you are talking to so many people from different walks of life and cultures. My only fear is that if people in this country don’t wake us and start exercises a few of the freedoms so many brave people have died protecting it will be us wondering where our freedom and rights have gone,, Love you and can’t wait for your next blog and for you to get home so we can all have long conversations ..YOU talk we listen..


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